Second July Live Evaluation Period PC Recruiting Recap

With the way these July live evaluation periods are from Wednesday through Sunday each of these weeks, I thought it would be best to change around the weekly recruiting updates from Friday’s to Monday’s until these live periods end. To see the preview that I put together and updated throughout the second live period, click here. This recap looks similar to the preview except I give some info from each event and how the recruits played. To see where Ed Cooley and the rest of the PC staff were during the second live period, click here.

Nike Peach Jam (N. Augusta, SC) 7/16/-7/20

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All Ohio Red

Scout.com’s Evan Daniels/Rob Harrington:

Esa Ahmad, PF, All-Ohio Red — Pitted in a regional grudge match versus Spiece, Ahmad answered the bell in a tight second half and simply took over. You can’t always trust stats, but you should trust them this time: 22 points (7-11 FG), 11 rebounds, six assists, plus a block and a steal with only two turnovers. Ahmad is the tough guy who could spend 100 percent of his time inside and be effective, but who also possesses the quickness, agility, ballhandling and passing skills to play on the wing. He actually initiated offense for long stretches when his team needed a good shot. He competes ferociously in every aspect of the game and could blossom as a national surprise at the college level.

ESPN.com’s Adam Finkelstein from Day 3:

Esa Ahmad 
2015, PF/SF, 6-foot-7, 220 pounds
Travel Team: All Ohio Red

Ahmad is one of the more versatile performers in the country, showing the ability to play either forward position. He is a great passer and is good enough at creating offense to play point forward at times. He had a great game in a victory over Spiece Indy Heat with 22 points, 11 rebounds and six assists. He is a very tough matchup as he takes larger post players off the dribble and posts up smaller perimeter players.

BABC

College Basketball Talk’s Scott Phillips: Four-star Class of 2016 guard Bruce Brown gave up football to focus on basketball and told Scott Phillips “I think I’m going to visit Providence sometime in August.”

Scout.com’s Evan Daniels/Rob Harrington:

Bruce Brown, SG, BABC: Brown has been picking up new scholarships all week. BothProvidence and Virginia Tech threw offers his way mid-event, per his high school coach. Friday night Brown showed why he’s so coveted. The 6-foot-4 guard is wired up to score. He pumped in 24 points on 9-for-15 shooting. Brown was effective off the dribble and aggressive with his drives. He made one of two three-point attempts and was able to get to mid-range and make shots as well.

Terance Mann, WF, BABC — This is shaping up to be a huge month for Mann. The solidly built wing opened up the live period by performing in stirring fashion at theLeBron James Skills Academy, and he continues to play with confidence here at the Peach Jam. Mann is a good athlete who’s particularly effective when able to move in a straight; he lacks the flexibility to change directions sharply at full speed. Even so, he’s powerful and aggressive and able to finish drives with dunks. Not only that, he’s a talented passer who also will get down in a stance and play defense.

ESPN.com’s Adam Finkelstein from Day 3:

Bruce Brown 
2016, SG, 6-foot-4, 175 pounds
Travel Team: BABC

Brown was the hero of BABC’s comeback win over Boo Williams in the morning session. He broke a tie with 40 seconds left by knocking down an off-balance pull-up from 10 feet and then followed that up by securing a defensive rebound and icing the game with a pair of free throws. His heroics didn’t go unnoticed as he picked up new scholarship offers from Providence, Iowa State and Virginia Tech.

Good read from the Lowell Sun’s Matt Langone on Terance Mann.

Boo Williams

ESPN.com’s John Stovall from Day 2:

Chris Clarke 
2015, SF, 6-foot-5, 195 pounds
Travel Team: Boo Williams

Clarke is one of the hardest-playing and most active players in the country. His goal is to try harder than his opponent and he is successful in almost every contest. Clarke is tough and scores mostly off defensive effort and garbage. He was the key in his Boo Williams squad’s victory over All Ohio Red as he hustled his way to 20 points.

College Basketball Talk’s Scott Phillips:

Chris Clarke, the warrior: There aren’t many players in the 2015 class that play as hard as Boo Williams 6-foot-6 wing Chris Clarke. The hard-playing wing doesn’t have the prettiest offensive game, but he’ll defend his tail off, make a ton of hustle plays and hit the glass hard.

Clarke was an absolute terror in a morning pool play win over Spiece and he was simply everywhere on the floor. The four-star prospect registered 22 points on 8-for-11 shooting (2-for-2 3PT), nine rebounds and seven assists. It isn’t just filling up the box score that is impressive about Clarke, it is the intensity at which he plays. His level of play elevates teammates and he’s a big reason why Boo Williams is still alive entering Sunday’s final four at Peach Jam.

UConn offered Clarke on Saturday and it will be interesting to see if other blueblood programs inquire about Clarke in the coming weeks.

College Basketball Talk’s Scott Phillips:

Chris Clarke could play for my team any day: Chris Clarke is one bad dude. The do-it-all wing is as rugged and competitive as they come and he defends and hustles for the entire game. Although his offensive arsenal isn’t advanced, Clarke gets it done by utilizing the baseline well and taking shots that are within his comfort zone. The 6-foot-6 wing isn’t as polished as some of his classmates, but he does anything that it takes to win and his skill level will only improve.

CIA Bounce

Each 1 Teach 1

Scout.com’s Evan Daniels:

Antonio Blakeney, SG, E1T1: As the game against Team CP3 wore on, Blakeney, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard, began to show his scoring prowess. He struggled from three, hitting just one of his eight attempts, but he was able to get out in transition and make plays and was the benefactor of a number of Simmons’ assists. Blakeney’s ability to score the ball has improved, as he’s much more than just a shooter. He’s able to go off the bounce and create shots, score on the move and certainly his athleticism when he gets to the rim.

College Basketball Talk – CBT Quotables:

Over the course of July’s live recruiting period, we at College Basketball Talk will be posting anonymous quotes from coaches about the prospects that they are watching and recruiting. With coverage from the EYBL Finals at the Nike Peach Jam and the UA Finals, the second open period of the month has provided coaches more opportunities to see their recruiting targets in competitive settings.

Here’s what the coaches had to say, with quotes cobbled together from a handful of conversations we had:

CG Antonio Blakeney, No. 16 Class of 2015: “Blakeney really shoots it. He’s a pure scorer that can hit tough shots because he’s got a high release thanks to his elevation. He’s streaky, but he’s a stud.”

Howard Pulley

Scout.com’s Evan Daniels/Rob Harrington:

Amir Coffey, SF, Howard Pulley: A versatile 6-foot-6 wing, Coffey can impact the game in a number of ways. During the Friday morning session against the The Travelers, Coffey scored 12 points, grabbed six boards and tossed out a pair of assists. He scored by hitting a long two-point jumper, a floater off a high post catch and had a trio of baskets at the rim. The lefty didn’t connect on any of his three-point attempts. He’s long, skilled and has a good feel for the game. There’s a lot of upside here, he just needs to get stronger and continue to get more aggressive.

ESPN.com’s John Stovall from Day 2:

Amir Coffey 
2016, SF, 6-foot-7, 185 pounds
Travel Team: Howard Pulley

Coffey is like a second coming of Tayshaun Prince. He is long, lanky and left handed. Amir is very versatile and contributes in many ways on the court. He had 14 points and 10 rebounds in his team’s victory over Chicago’s own Mac Irvin Fire.

Mac Irvin Fire

New York Lightning

Spiece Indy Heat

Southern Stampede

Scout.com’s Rob Harrington:

Prince Ali, WF, Southern Stampede — The Stamped unhappily found themselves underfoot Team Penny in the final round of games this evening, but Ali clearly did his part to keep the club competitive. He boasts one of the best first steps of any senior wing, and his strong body enables him to finish through contact. To wit, he attacked to the right baseline and exploded off one foot for a slam through the body of a defender. Many one-footed leapers are gliders, but Ali is a power one-footed guy — definitely an uncommon attribute. He’s also a pretty good medium-range shooter, but he needs to get more loft on his flat, hard threes. On the whole this former UConn pledge has cemented himself within the blue-chip range among his peers.

Team Final

Team Scan

IlliniPlaybook.com’s Scott Burgess:

Devonte Green (Lutheran, NY)

Green has been one of my favorite players from the EYBL and continued to raise his stock at Elite 100. He is the younger brother of the Spurs Danny Green. Devonte is a high IQ combo guard that is a playmaker with the ball in his hands. He is always under control and makes sound decisions. Green brings his team a lot of energy and just has that “it” factor.

The rising junior consistently won off the dribble all week accelerating to the hoop with ease. He scored a ton at the rim and got to the charity stripe quite a bit. Green is a lights out shooter that shoots it with a ton of confidence. His stop and pop pull up jumper was unguardable all week. As a distributor he made good decisions with the ball and is a plus passer for a combo guard. Extremely talented young prospect.

Scout.com’s Evan Daniels/Rob Harrington:

BATTLE HAS JUMP SHOT WORKING

In a match up with Boo Williams on Friday night, Tyus Battle, a 6-foot-6 wing from Gladstone (N.J.) Gill St. Bernards, had the jump shot working, as he hit three three-pointers and scored a game high 17 points for Team Scan.

“I think knocking down jump shots and creating my own shot, I’m pretty good at,” Battle told Scout.com.

“I’m probably better from mid-range,” he added. “That’s more of my game. When they go to man-to-man I like to get the mid-range jump shot.”

Battle has all the tools you look for at the wing position. He’s blessed with good size, is a quality athlete and is a threat to score from the perimeter or off the bounce. College coaches have taken notice too.

Battle has interest from over 20 schools including MichiganLouisvilleKentucky,IndianaSyracuseOhio StateMaryland and Arizona. He also picked up offers from Duke on Thursday and North Carolina State just prior to that.

“It’s an honor,” he said about the Duke offer. “It’s a high-level program. Coach K is a hall of fame coach and he’s produced a lot of great players.”

“It’s a great program and I love the way they play,” he said about N.C. State. “It’s a high-level program.”

Battle is current regarded as a five-star prospect on Scout.com.

ESPN.com’s Adam Finkelstein from Day 4:

Tyus Battle 
2016, SG, 6-foot-5, 179 pounds
Travel Team: Team Scan Cardinals

It’s no secret Battle wasn’t at his best to start the EYBL regular season, but his level of play has risen in a distinctly linear pattern over the last couple of months. And on Saturday night, he turned in a huge performance when the stakes were at their highest to push the Cardinals past Houston Hoops and into the semifinals. More impressive than his team-high 21 points was the timing of his buckets down the stretch of the second half as he rose to the occasion to hit big shots in big moments while also picking his spots to show his length and athleticism in the open floor.

College Basketball Talk – CBT Quotables:

Over the course of July’s live recruiting period, we at College Basketball Talk will be posting anonymous quotes from coaches about the prospects that they are watching and recruiting. With coverage from the EYBL Finals at the Nike Peach Jam and the UA Finals, the second open period of the month has provided coaches more opportunities to see their recruiting targets in competitive settings.

Here’s what the coaches had to say, with quotes cobbled together from a handful of conversations we had:

PF Cheick Diallo, No. 5 Class of 2015: “That guy goes hard. What a competitor. And people don’t seem to mention his skill level, but he’s a pretty good passer and has improved his post game since last summer.”

Team Takeover

The Family

Unfortunately the Peach Jam was cut short for The Family as they lost the play-in game Wednesday night to Team CP3 with Chris Paul himself on the sidelines. Eric Davis had a big game leading all scorers with 22 points in 32 minutes but he only shot 8/20 from the field. Trevor Manuel had a thunderous dunk and added 5 points and 4 rebounds while shooting only 1/4 from the FT line. Miles Bridges had a good all around game with 8 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists. Click here to see all player stats from this game as well as watch a replay of the entire game.

Scout.com’s Brian Snow from Day 1:

Eric Davis, SG, The Family – In the first half Davis absolutely put his team on his back. He was hitting from the mid-range off the dribble, launching from deep, and also getting to the rim. Absolutely nothing that CP3 tried could slow Davis down in the first half. However in the second half a zone defense limited his looks at the rim and kept him in check. Still Davis put 22 on the board and showed why he is one of the best pure scorers in the class.

Trevor Manuel, PF, The Family – With Manuel he has flashes of brilliance during a game and then stretches where he seems to disappear. In this one it was no different. He had three or four high level plays where his length and athleticism were on full display. That said he also didn’t rise up when his team needed in the second half. Still there is a lot to like with Manuel, but he has to bring a greater sense of urgency and toughness to the floor.

Miles Bridges, PF/SF, The Family – They just don’t build many athletes like this one. Even with Bridges struggling some from the field, he showed just how good he can be when he gets going downhill. Bridges attacked the rim a few times off the bounce and finished impressively through contact and then also was very good on the glass. He needs to continue to refine his skill game, especially his shooting, but there is a lot to like with his versatility and elite athleticism.

Nike Elite Youth Invitational (Augusta, GA) 7/16-7/20

Georgia Stars

Scout.com’s Rob Harrington from Day 1:

Malik Beasley, SG, Georgia Stars — The Stars rumbled over the Southern Stampede and took the air out of that game early, and Beasley’s hot start certainly aided the cause. Beasley is a prime athlete who not surprisingly makes the most of his transition opportunities. He has taken hold of the momentum he initiated at the Pangos Camp in June and dragged it into mid-July, continuing to add luster to his reputation in the process. What struck me as different tonight was the rotation and arch on his jump shot. He buried a baseline jumper from 17 feet on the move that looked nearly perfect, then followed that up with a bottoms-up three from deep. If he shoots like that, or can shoot it like that eventually, he could enjoy a very long career in the sport.

MeanStreets

UA The Finals (Atlanta, GA) 7/16-7/20

Houston Defenders

NE Playaz

Reuter has continued his solid play from the first live period where he held his own against a 7’3 player at the Reebok Breakout Classic in Philadelphia and displayed a soft touch with the baby hook shot over his right shoulder. I was in Philly for the Breakout Classic and saw two of his games. He is a banger down low that has that soft touch and solid footwork in the post to go along with an innate passing ability.

Scout.com’s Evan Daniels from Day 1:

Jarred Reuter, C: A big, burly center prospect, Reuter struggled early on to score over Holman’s length. But as the game wore on, he got better and used his size and strength to make plays in the paint. Reuter has good hands and touch, and also proved to be a good passer, as he hit cutters with crisp passes and looked for his shooters on the opposite side when he posts. Reuter is a hard-player, tough dude that gives energy on the glass.

ESPN.com’s Reggie Rankin from Day 1:

Best low post passer

Jarred Reuter

Reuter is a big body power forward that simply puts bruises on opposing low post defenders. He is strong and does his damage below the rim. He has good footwork and touch that he sets up by backing down his opponent to set up his move. He also is a good and willing passer out the low post. He hits teammates on time and on target when they relocate or when spotting up on the weak side. Reuter is hard nosed and competed throughout the game. Iowa, Providence, South Carolina and Rhode Island are in hot pursuit.

I also saw Tomas Murphy while in Philly last week. The best way to describe him as a player is that he just knows how to play the game. He does so many little things that will never show up in the boxscore but are winning and savvy plays. He is also very fundamentally sound. He will need to continue to fill out his frame as he gets older but he has all the tools and basketball IQ needed to be a high major player.

ESPN.com’s Reggie Rankin from Day 1:

Tomas Murphy

Murphy is a 2017 stretch power forward that already has offers from Florida, Providence, Rhode island, Maryland and Bryant and we completely understand why these programs have made him a priority so early. Murphy is long, lean and skilled with an excellent basketball IQ and feel for the game. He competes, communicates with teammates and makes good decisions with the ball. He can make open shots pass and also moves well without the ball. This young player has a bright future with continued development.

College Basketball Talk – CBT Quotables:

Over the course of July’s live recruiting period, we at College Basketball Talk will be posting anonymous quotes from coaches about the prospects that they are watching and recruiting. With coverage from the EYBL Finals at the Nike Peach Jam and the UA Finals, the second open period of the month has provided coaches more opportunities to see their recruiting targets in competitive settings.

Here’s what the coaches had to say, with quotes cobbled together from a handful of conversations we had:

PF Tomas Murphy, 2017: “I just don’t think he’s gotten better in the last year. Players are catching up to him in size and he’s not dominating. Soft touch, decent post moves, needs to add strength and grow into his body. Think he’s closer to Alex than Erik.”

New Heights

HardwoodInsiders.com’s Paul Johnson from Day 1:

Heron’s backcourt mate Dupree McBrayer played an outstanding game as well.  He kept defenders off balance with shifty left to right crossover and pull up threes. McBrayer looked very comfortable in either guard position. He finished with 16 points.

HardwoodInsiders.com’s Paul Johnson from Day 3:

After making it out of the showcase games, on Friday Sports U found itself in bracket play matched up against another local New York metro powerhouse in New Heights.  Throughout much of the game Sports U trailed as Mustapha Heron, a Pittsburgh commit, and Dupree McBrayer, a guard sought after by Providence and Minnesota, took turns scoring.  Heron had his entire game on display as he knocked down outside shots as well as forced his way into the paint and drew fouls. He finished with 23 points.  McBrayer also had his full repertoire on display.  McBrayer hit a number of pull up threes and used his shiftiness to get into the lane to find teammates. He ended the game with 14 points.

SportsU

HardwoodInsiders.com’s Paul Johnson from Day 1:

Sports U versus the SYF Players was one of the first round of showcase games that took place at 5:30pm.  Sports U started the game very slowly and fell behind 9 – 2 early on.  After a timeout they made a 12 – 3 run to take a 14 – 12 lead.  Their run was largely fueled by their defense which forced numerous turnovers.  Leading the charge for Sports U was 6’8 180lb class of 2015 forward Markis McDuffie.  McDuffie holds offers from Penn State, Duquesne and Rutgers and his play showed why.  He handled the ball in the open court and scored numerous times in transition.  He also had a number of steals that lead to dunks by his front court running mate Chris Silva.  Behind McDuffie and Silva’s strong defensive efforts Sports U cruised to a 52 – 41win.

The City

Ed Cooley, Andre LaFleur and Brian Blaney went three deep for Donovan Mitchell for the first 2 days of this event. Mitchell went off Wednesday night for 26 points in the win with Cooley, Crean and Pitino taking it all in among others.

Good read from College Basketball Talk’s Rob Dauster on Donovan Mitchell dropping baseball and focusing on basketball and the difference that has made for him.

Scout.com’s Evan Daniels from Day 1:

Donovan Mitchell, a 6-foot-3 guard out of Wolfeboro (N.H.) Brewster Academy, was one of the breakout performers of the first July evaluation period after a strong showing at the Reebok Breakout Classic.

But Mitchell wasn’t a one hit wonder. On Wednesday, playing with The City, he put on one of the top performances of the spring and summer going for 28 points, seven assists, six steals and six rebounds.

“Many people doubted me to be honest and didn’t think I was that good,” Mitchell told Scout.com. “Not being ranked in the end doesn’t really matter, but it was kind of a motivator to be honest. Not being invited to certain camps is a motivator. But I worked hard regardless.”

UA Grind couldn’t defend Mitchell on Wednesday, as he sank long-range jump shots, went off the bounce and created for his teammates and showed he could scored it through contact at the rim and in transition. Mitchell also played with toughness and proved to be a relentless ball hawk on defense.

You could point to a few aspects of Mitchell’s game that standout, specifically his passing, shooting and defense. Mitchell said the biggest difference in his game now compared to the beginning of his high school season is his shooting.

“I’ve been in the gym almost every day trying to knock down shots, whether it’s 100, 200 or 300,” he said. “I have confidence now. Last year if I missed a shot I was like ‘should I shoot the next one.’ Now if I miss one it’s OK. I’m shooting the next one after that.”

Prior to July, Mitchell held scholarship offers fromIndianaFlorida StateGeorgia Tech,ProvidenceBoston CollegeCreighton andIowa. Since the first evaluation period, Mitchell has added offers from Louisville, USF, Memphis and Villanova.

Mitchell has already taken visits to Providence, Florida State, Georgia Tech and Boston College. He informed Scout.com on Wednesday that he plans to visit Indiana and Louisville following July.

MusketeerReport.com’s Rick Broering:

Donovan Mitchell – 2015, G, The City – Mitchell entered the spring under the radar and eager to get recruited. He impressed at the Pittsburgh Jamfest as a big-time scorer that could get it done at all three levels with a great physique and size to go with his skill. Since then, Mitchell’s recruitment has completely exploded. On Wednesday night Mitchell put on a show at the Under Armour Association finals. He finished with 26 points, seven assists, six rebounds and six steals in what was an all-around dominant performance. He is especially impressive when operating in tight spaces and when using his explosiveness to slide past defenders with jump shots and quick cut moves. He also showed his range with a few 3-pointers. He remained in attack mode the entire night. Xavier offered in the spring and seemed to be in the mix for the Brewster Academy guard, but Mitchell is now drawing interest from all of the top programs. On Wednesday night alone, Florida, Duke, Kentucky, Louisville, UConn, Indiana and plenty more had coaches there to watch him.

Scout.com’s Brian Snow:

Donovan Mitchell, PG/SG, The City – Mitchell just absolutely continued his assault on the month of July with another big time performance. Mitchell was getting to the rim almost any time he wanted, and then for fun he would just hit shots when he didn’t feel like driving and dunking the ball. He is also tremendous at finishing through contact and showing the unique ability to score from all three levels while being efficient and making others on his team better.

Scout.com’s Evan Daniels from Day 4:

Donovan Mitchell, SG, The City: Mitchell has arguably been the biggest breakout performer of July. He entered the month as an unranked four-star, now he’s primed for a big move when Scout.com updates their list. At 6-foot-3, Mitchell has a powerfully built frame with a long set of arms. He’s an impressive athlete that defends, can handle the ball, sees the floor and is turning into a solid shooter. On Saturday morning, he was active on the glass, threw down dunks in transition, knocked down his only three-point attempt and made plays for his teammates. Mitchell finished with 20 points on 8-for-9 shooting and tossed out five assists.

CardinalAuthority.com’s Jody Demling:

Donovan Mitchell, The City: The 6-foot-3 Mitchell put on a show. He picked up a U of L offer last weekend and showed off in front of Pitino with 26 points, seven rebounds, six assists and six steals. He scored all kinds of ways, including three-pointers and several drives where he was fouled. Mitchell had 11 straight at one point and then threw down a nasty dunk. He turned in the most impressive single-game performance I have seen this spring/summer. The Brewster Prep guard has over a dozen offers and confirmed he will visit Louisville and Indiana next month. Pitino and his two assistants were at the game the entire time and Mitchell said when Pitino called to offer he “was pretty honored. It was Rick Pitino, everybody wants him to call you.” Mitchell is a star and expect his ranking to jump a great deal – and soon.

ESPN.com’s Reggie Rankin from Day 4:

Special athleticism, Part II: Donovan Mitchell

Mitchell is a strong and explosive athlete who is quick off his feet, attacks the rim and can finish through contact. He likes to spin off defenders before he absorbs the hit and finishes. In addition, he is a good draw-and-kick passer when the defense collapses around him. Mitchell was also alert and made plays on the defensive end in the passing lanes.

CBSSports.com’s Jeff Borzello:

Donovan Mitchell boosts stock this month

While the high-level head-to-head matchups were making waves down South, one player continued to rise up the charts.

Donovan Mitchell, a top-100 guard from Brewster Academy (N.H.), has been on a tear in July. He reportedly played well last week in Philadelphia, then dropped 28 points on Wednesday night at the Under Armour Finals in Suwanee, Ga. Mitchell followed that up on Thursday morning with another impressive performance, despite his jumper not falling consistently.

“I feel like I’m playing much better,” Mitchell said. “All the hard work from the offseason is paying off. I just feel more confident and I’m not too hesitant about everything.”

Mitchell injured his wrist last summer, and then showed flashes of his potential during the school season — but now he’s finally putting it all together.

Plenty of colleges are taking notice too, with Georgetown, Villanova, Florida State, Indiana, Memphis, South Florida and Louisville all extending offers recently.

“I just feel like I’m playing hard, and just playing my game,” Mitchell said. “It just happens to be in front of the right people at the right time.”

Providence, Boston College, Creighton, Iowa, Cincinnati and others have been on him for awhile, and they are still in the mix. Mitchell had planned to cut his list soon, but the new influx of interest has adjusted his timeline a bit.

WE R1

CardinalAuthority.com’s Jody Demling:

Derrick Jones, WE R 1: The 6-foot-8 Jones is still being targeted by the Cardinals. Johnson spent time watching his game. Jones wasn’t at his best on this evening and had a tough time getting going. He’s still a big-time prospect and said he wants to visit.

ESPN.com’s Reggie Rankin from Day 4:

Special athleticism, Part I: Derrick Jones 

Jones is an impressive athlete with a combination of great length, athleticism and high-level explosiveness. He plays above the rim on the break and on all clear paths to the rim and will also not hesitate to leap over a late-arriving help-side defender. His ball skills are improving along with his shot, and his upside is tremendous. He is also a capable multiple-position defender. Jones reminds us of former UNLV great Stacey Augmon.

Most powerful rebounder: Ernest Aflakpui 

The 6-10 Aflakpui has an NBA body, runs well and is extremely mobile for his size. His hands will have to improve, but when he does get a grip on the ball, look out. He rebounds mostly on the defensive end at rim level with two hands and great force. Aflakpui also does a great job hedging on screens on defense and setting them on offense to help free his teammates, which are little things that go along way in helping put his team in position to win. Aflakpui has continued to improve at a steady pace and has great upside.

College Basketball Talk – CBT Quotables:

Over the course of July’s live recruiting period, we at College Basketball Talk will be posting anonymous quotes from coaches about the prospects that they are watching and recruiting. With coverage from the EYBL Finals at the Nike Peach Jam and the UA Finals, the second open period of the month has provided coaches more opportunities to see their recruiting targets in competitive settings.

Here’s what the coaches had to say, with quotes cobbled together from a handful of conversations we had:

C Sedee Keita, No. 46 2016: “I saw him two years ago and said there’s no player there. I saw him last year and he was better. Now, you can see it coming. Needs to learn how to score, but he will be good.”

NY2LA Summer Jam (Mequon, WI) 7/16-7/20

Atlanta Celtics

Scout.com’s Brian Snow from Day 1:

Kaiser Gates, SF/PF, Atlanta Celtics – Gates had some good moments during the day for the Celtics. He is a skilled forward who can probably play either spot at a respectable level and in an evening win he hit a few big threes to seal the game. Gates also rebounded the ball fairly well and showed solid versatility. He can disappear at times and float too much on the perimeter, but there is some good talent to work with.

Kobi Simmons, PG/SG, Atlanta Celtics – This kid is just absolutely tremendous and showed it all day long. At around 6-foot-4 with athleticism, scoring ability, and court vision, Simmons did it all. He was scoring at an elite clip, and used his dynamic first step to get into the lane and make plays for himself or others. There is no doubt he is one of the elite prospects in the class and was one of the truly impact guys all day long.

Scout.com’s Brian Snow from Day 2:

Braxton Blackwell, SF, Atlanta Celtics – The Celtics looked out of gas in a morning loss to Team Loaded, but Blackwell did his part to show that he is a very good player. Blackwell was hitting from deep early, and then he got to the rim and made a few plays that well. He seems to be getting more explosive every year, and showed an impressive ability to rebound for someone who makes his home on the wing.

NY2LASports.com’s Evan Flood from Day 1:

TOP PERFORMERS

Braxton Blackwell – 2016 – F – Atlanta Celtics 6-8 – CPA HS – Nashville, TN

Versatility is the name to Blackwell’s game and that was on full display Wednesday night. Knocking down shots from the perimeter and attacking in transition, Blackwell finished with 20 points in a win over King James. Blackwell came on big in the second half to help the Celtics climb out of a double-digit deficit.

Kobi Simmons – 2016 – G – Atlanta Celtics 6-5 – St. Francis HS – Alpharetta, GA

Simmons shot the lights out in Wednesday night’s win over King James. Hitting some timely shots down the stretch, the touted sophomore guard scored a team-high 21 points in a comeback victory. Playing on and off the ball, Simmons spotted up on the perimeter for open looks and also scored well with the ball in his hands.

NY2LASports.com’s Evan Flood from Day 2:

Kobi Simmons – 2016 – G – Atlanta Celtics 6-5 – St. Francis HS – Alpharetta, GA

Simmons picked up where he left off Wednesday night with another hot shooting performance. The touted sophomore combo guard led all scorers with 18 points in a win over Team Loaded. Simmons hits timely shots from three-point range. Also a skilled ball-handler, Simmons will make the defense pay by overcommitting.

NY2LASports.com’s Trevor Andershock from Day 3:

Kobi Simmons – 6-5 – PG – Atlanta Celtics – 2016

Jean was very good Friday afternoon but Kobi Simmons was a little bit better in both the individual performance and on the scoreboard. Simmons finished with 32 points in win over Florida Flash. Simmons is one of the quickest guards in the country regardless of class right now. He uses his burst to get to the rim anytime that he wants.

NY2LASports.com’s Evan Flood from Day 4:

Braxton Blackwell – 2015 – F – Atlanta Celtics 6-8 – CPA HS – Nashville, TN

Blackwell had nine points as the Atlanta Celtics beat Team Loaded North Carolina to advance to the final four. The touted sophomore looked explosive driving to the rim. As always, Blackwell protected the rim well and grabbed some impressive rebounds in traffic.

Kobi Simmons – 2016 – G – Atlanta Celtics 6-5 – St. Francis – Alpharetta, GA

Simmons was getting just about everything to go in a quarterfinal win again Team Loaded North Carolina. The sophomore combo guard was hitting shots from everywhere. Simmons’ ability to score in so many ways and have his shots go down despite good contests is frustrating to those trying to defend him. Simmons scored a game-high 25 points to lift the Celtics to the Final Four.

NY2LASports.com’s Trevor Andershock from Day 5:

Kaiser Gates – 6-8 – SF – Atlanta Celtics – 2015

The Atlanta Celtics struggled in the 17 and under semifinals against Team Loaded. Gates was a bright spot for the Celtics though. He was especially good in the second half. He was aggressive around the rim plus he knocked down a few shots from the outside. Gates is a tough match-up with his size, athleticism and outside shooting.

College Basketball Talk – CBT Quotables:

Over the course of July’s live recruiting period, we at College Basketball Talk will be posting anonymous quotes from coaches about the prospects that they are watching and recruiting. With coverage from the EYBL Finals at the Nike Peach Jam and the UA Finals, the second open period of the month has provided coaches more opportunities to see their recruiting targets in competitive settings.

Here’s what the coaches had to say, with quotes cobbled together from a handful of conversations we had:

SF Kaiser Gates, No. 109 Class of 2015: “Kaiser Gates is intriguing because he can hit shots and make some plays, but I wonder if he’s athletic enough to defend wings at the next level?”

Wisconsin United

NY2LASports.com’s Evan Flood from Day 4:

Levi Bradley – 2015 – F – Wisconsin United 6-7 – Pius XI – Milwaukee, WI

Bradley has had a steady, consistent tournament thus far. The lanky, athletic forward chipped in with 16 points in a win over the Milwaukee Rebels in the round of 16. Bradley is a great scorer around the rim that can take most forwards off the dribble. Also able to handle the ball in transition, Bradley continues to show his high upside and that his best days are still ahead of him.

NY2LASports.com’s Evan Flood from Day 5:

Levi Bradley – 2015 – F – Wisconsin United 6-7 – Pius XI – Milwaukee, WI

We always wondered how good Bradley could be if he ever comes near his potential. Bradley finally gave everyone a taste of that in the 17U title game. The Milwaukee native scored a game-high 31 points, including five-straight to time the game late. Bradley was hitting shots from downtown and mid-range, as well as finishing over a big front line of Team Loaded that looked flustered trying to defend him. Bradley has always had a huge upside and it was a beautiful thing to finally see all the pieces put together.

Hoop Group Summer Classic East (King of Prussia, PA) 7/16-7/17

This was a team event being held Wednesday and Thursday. Expressions Elite has their 15U, 16U and 17U squads in attendance. It’s basically the same teams that also played in the Jam Fest over the weekend.

DC Warriors

Expressions Elite 17U

ESPN.com’s Adam Finkelstein:

Best Forward

Aaron Falzon – Expressions Elite: A highly skilled stretch forward who makes his living behind the 3-point line, Falzon led the charge for Expressions here coming off a reportedly impressive showing at last week’s LeBron James Skills Academy. Falzon established himself as one of the best shooting forwards in the EYBL this spring, not just because of his ability to make open 3s but also deep and tough shots as well. Exactly what position he plays at the next level is still somewhat debatable, especially on the defensive end, but there is no denying that his ability to stretch the floor is among the very best of all the forwards in the ESPN 100. He was followed by Virginia, Stanford, Northwestern and Harvard on Wednesday night.

CityofBasketballLove.com’s Staff:

Aaron Falzon (2015/Northfield Mt. Hermon, Mass./Expressions Elite)
One of the highest-ranked recruits at Competitive Edge today (ESPN ranks him 97th, Yahoo! 96th), Falzon holds offers from a number of high-major schools, including Marquette, Notre Dame, NC State, Providence, Georgia, and Penn State.

However, he said he is currently hearing most from Harvard, Boston College, Northwestern, Stanford, and Virginia, and has visited a few of those schools already.

While he is still planning his official visits for this Fall, Falzon has an idea of when he wants to make his decision.

“Before the season,” he said. “Probably October, early November at the latest.”

CityofBasketballLove.com’s Varun Kumar & Josh Verlin:

Jared Wilson-Frame (2015/Believe Prep Academy/Expressions Elite)
Wilson-Frame looked like a star in the making on Wednesday night. The talented wing was able to get into the lane, and looked confident with his improving handle throughout the game.

The 6-foot-5 Wilson-Frame identified five schools that appear to be separating themselves from the rest of the pack.

“The offers I’m really focusing on right now are St. Joe’s, Minnesota, Providence, Rhode Island and Hofstra,” he said. “These are the schools that are really involved in my recruitment right now that are on me every day, talking to me.”

On Providence: “They’ve been recruiting me since ninth grade. As soon as Andre LaFleur left Connecticut for Providence he’s been recruiting me. I can talk to them about anything and they’re real relatable.”

Expressions Elite U16

CityofBasketballLove.com’s Varun Kumar & Ari Rosenfeld:

Jermaine Samuels (2017/Rivers School, Mass./Expressions Elite)

Samuels listed offers from UConn, Boston College, Boston University, Dartmouth, Providence, and Rhode Island, and while all are strong programs, he is focused on what he needs to do to expand his recruitment nationally.

“Just play harder, work on the weaknesses in my game, get my handle up,” he said. “Just do the things that make you a high-major player. That’s what I need to do, get back in the lab”

Samuels has already spent time on campus at UConn, Boston University, and Harvard, and was very impressed with each school. However, he said that UConn has stood out to him the most since they offered him before his freshman season.

High Rise Team Up

  • 2015 Steve Enoch will not be playing so he can rest his injured thigh, per Adam Zagoria’s tweet:

Mid-Atlantic Select

ESPN.com’s Adam Finkelstein:

Best Combo-Guard Prospect

C.J. Keyser – Mid Atlantic Select: The 6-3 guard played primarily on the wing at the high school level but has had the ball in his hands since AAU season came around. He’s not a true point guard just yet but he’s comfortable with the ball and an efficient passer when he keeps it simple. Keyser also has good size and length on the perimeter to go along with high level athleticism to play well above the rim. He’s a highlight waiting to happen in transition, a good creator off the bounce, and equally dangerous in the mid-range game. Combine that with his ability to defend multiple positions on the perimeter and he’s a consistent 3-point shot away from being one of the most versatile guards around.

NYC Jayhawks

Hoop Group Summer Jam Fest (Manheim, PA) 7/18-7/20

DC Warriors

Expressions Elite 17U

CityofBasketballLove.com’s Jeff Neiburg:

After an EYBL campaign that head coach Tyron Boswell admitted was a struggle, Expressions Elite came to Manheim looking to pick up some momentum as the summer circuit nears its final month.

They did just that, battling back from an early second half deficit to capture the 17U championship with a 65-55 win.

Falzon showed exactly why schools like Marquette, Notre Dame, Creighton, Providence, NC State and 13 others have already extended scholarship offers, knocking down shot after shot when his team needed a boost.

“He’s the best shooter in the country,” Boswell said of Falzon. “Obviously he’s being tracked by tons and tons of schools. We feel like he’s the best shooter in the country, he gives us the best chance in the world. Down three, we know where the ball is going.”

Expressions also got strong efforts from 2016 point guard Ikenna Ndugba, as well as 2016 wing EJ Crawford and 2015 wing Jared Wilson-Frame – who each poured in shots from deep when ICC went zone in the first half.

Expressions Elite 16U

High Rise Team Up

  • 2015 Steve Enoch will not be playing so he can rest his injured thigh, per Adam Zagoria’s tweet:

Mid-Atlantic Select

NYC Jayhawks

Peach State Showcase (Aiken, SC) 7/16-7/20

 

Brand X

  • 2014 Ricky Council II

Council scored 28 points on Friday night against Mass Rivals. I haven’t confirmed that any PC coaches were at the game.

Maryland 3D

Scout.com’s Rob Harrington:

Drew Edwards, SG, Maryland 3D — Edwards appeared far more comfortable in a team setting than he did at last week’s Lawson/Oladipo camp. The solidly built wing has excellent ball skills to play on the wing, and he’s a fine long-range shooter as well. He fired shots in with much more assertiveness on Thursday than he did at camp, taking advantage of the greater familiarity with his teammates and enhanced structure. He doesn’t blow you away with athleticism and sometimes isn’t as productive as you may prefer, but what he does well absolutely will translate to the next level.

Scout.com’s Evan Daniels from Day 4:

Drew Edwards, SG/PG, Maryland 3D: It was a tail of two halves for Edwards, as he made mid-range pull-ups, threes and adjusting finishes in the first half. In the second he struggled to get shots to go down until Maryland 3D needed a big play. The 6-foot-2 combination guard hit a pull-up three-pointer from the wing at the buzzer to help his team advance over RL9. Edwards played with the ball in his hands for Maryland 3D and proved to be a good passer. He’s also a good long-range shooter that can make mid-range pull-ups.

Mass Rivals

Scout.com’s Rob Harrington:

Josh Sharma’s recruitment appears to be gaining steam. His Mass Rivals squad competed at the Peach State Showcase last week and weekend, and for the first time since April he was able to perform at a team event in front of college coaches.

Sharma played very well during my time watching him, albeit against inferior competition. Still, just watching him run the court — perhaps his most striking attribute — illustrates that he’s a very gifted athlete for 6-11. Not only is Sharma fast end to end, he slides his feet fairly well, too.

Additionally, he possesses tight hand-eye coordination and is a fluid scorer around the rim and facing the basket. A desperate lack of strength highlights his areas to improve, and from a physical standpoint he may be a couple years away from being ready to start for a major program.

But once he achieves a manageable playing weight, Sharma’s speed and skill level should enable him to shine. Coaches recognize it, too, and his recruitment reflects a combination of athletic and academic prowess.

WisconsinBoston CollegeVirginiaStanford and California are some of my major schools,” Sharma said. “I took an official to Wisconsin in early January, and Virginia might be on me the hardest.”

Basketbull Hall of Fame Invitational (Springfield, MA) 7/18-7/20

BASKETBULL HOF INVITATIONAL

Brookwood Elite

USAD

Other tournaments during this live period:

 

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